Exploration

11.01.2013
Thirteen new discoveries were made on the Norwegian shelf in 2012; nine fewer than in 2011. Five of the discoveries were made in the North Sea, five in the Norwegian Sea and three in the Barents Sea.

42 exploration wells were spudded and 41 were completed. 26 of the spudded wells are wildcat wells, and 16 are appraisal wells. In the North Sea, 29 exploration wells were spudded. Eight wells were spudded in the Norwegian Sea and five were spudded in the Barents Sea.

The number of exploration wells spudded is down somewhat from last year. This is primarily due to rig access constraints, as well as a number of challenging drilling operations that have taken longer than planned.  

In 2013, we expect about 50 exploration wells will be drilled.


Greatest activity in the North Sea

In the Ekofisk area in the southern North Sea, Statoil has proven gas/condensate in wildcat well 2/4-21 «King Lear» in Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks. The discovery has high temperature and high pressure. This is considered to be an interesting find which could provide a basis for a future gas development in the area.

There has been a great deal of exploration activity east of the Utsira High in the central part of the North Sea. Several appraisal wells have been drilled in blocks 16/2 and 16/5 on the Johan Sverdrup oil discovery, which was proven in 2010 in Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks. One of these, well 16/2-12, tested a new segment 10 kilometres north-west of the 16/2-6 discovery well. It encountered a 35-metre oil column, thus increasing the discovery's resource base.

Four oil discoveries were made in the northern part of the North Sea, the largest of which was made by Wintershall in well 35/9-7 «Skarfjell» in the Heather formation in the Upper Jurassic in the Gjøa area.  It is located in an area where new discoveries have been made in recent years («Grosbeak» and «Titan»), and it will be further delineated in the near future. Total proved oil in the Cook formation from the Jurassic Age in well 34/6-2 S, north-east of the Visund field. 

Furthermore, Statoil has made two minor discoveries in connection with producing fields. Well 30/6-28 S, which was drilled under the Oseberg field, discovered oil in the Statfjord formation, while well 33/12-9 S south of the Gullfaks Sør field proved oil in the Brent group with good reservoir quality.


Five discoveries in the Norwegian Sea

In well 6201/11-3 in the south-western Norwegian Sea, Lundin has proven oil in thin sandstone layers in the Lista formation in the Paleocene, as well as in the Shetland group in the Cretaceous. There is great uncertainty associated with the size of the reservoirs in this discovery.  

Four discoveries were made in the more established exploration areas near the fields; three gas discoveries and one oil discovery. Mærsk made a minor oil discovery south-east of the Kristin field, in the Lysing and Lange formations in the Cretaceous. The reservoir rocks and reservoir quality were poorer than expected, and it is too early to make a resource estimate. Nearby, in well 6407/1-5 S, Wintershall delineated the 6406/3-8 oil/gas discovery proven in 2010. The well confirms the upper part of the previous resource estimate of 10-20 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable oil and 2.5 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas. Further north-west of the Heidrun field, RWE Dea proved gas in well 6507/7-15 S «Zidane 2» in the Fangst group in the Jurassic, while BP made a gas discovery north of the Skarv field, in well 6507/3-9 S in the Lysing formation.

The northernmost discovery was made north-west of the Norne field, by Statoil in well 6607/12-3 in the Fangst and Båt groups in the Jurassic. This is a small gas discovery which requires further evaluation to clarify its resource potential.  


Three discoveries in the Barents Sea

Statoil discovered oil and gas in well 7220/7-1 «Havis», near the Skrugard discovery in the Barents Sea. The well proved gas in the Stø formation and oil in the Stø and Nordmela formations in the Jurassic. Skrugard, proven in 2010, was also delineated by well 7220/5-1. Following this well, estimates place the size of the Skrugard discovery between 35-40 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalents.

Two new discoveries were made further south, north-west of the Snøhvit field. Eni proved gas/condensate in well 7220/10-1 «Salina» in the Knurr formation in the Cretaceous, and in the Stø formation in the Jurassic. The plan is to drill an appraisal well here in the near future. The last discovery was made by Lundin in well 7120/6 -3 S, where oil was proven in the Knurr formation in the Cretaceous. This is a minor discovery and the resource potential has not yet been determined.

 

Recoverable resources in new discoveries 2012.
Preliminary resource figures: low-medium-high estimate

Well

Operator

Hydro-
carbon
types

Oil/
condensate
Mill Sm3

Gas
billion Sm3

2/4-21 (King Lear)

Statoil
Petroleum AS

Gas/
condensate

3.5 - 6.5 - 12

8 - 14 - 22

30/6-28 S

Statoil
Petroleum AS

Oil

2 - 3

 

33/12-9 S

Statoil
Petroleum AS

Oil

0.3 - 1.1

 

34/6-2

Total Norge
E&P AS

Oil

3.3 - 6.8 - 11

1<

35/9-7

(Skarfjell)

Wintershall
Norge AS

Oil

10 - 22 - 45

4 -  8 - 15

6201/11-3

Lundin Petroleum Norway AS

Oil

1.5 - 4.5 - 25

 

6406/3-9

Maersk Oil Norway AS

Oil

1<

1<

6507/7-15 S
(Zidane 2)

RWE Dea
Norge AS

Gas

 

4 - 6 - 7

6507/3-9 S

BP Norge AS

Oil/gas

1<

1 - 2 - 3

6607/12-3

Statoil
Petroleum AS

Gas

No figures

 

7220/7-1
(Havis)

Statoil
Petroleum AS

Oil/gas

36 - 45 - 55

3 - 5 - 6

7220/10-1

Eni Norge AS

Gas/
condensate

1<

5 -  6 - 7

7120/6-3 S

Lundin Petroleum Norway AS

Oil

No figures

 

 

 

 

58 - 153

26 - 60